Seasons…gratitude and presence, come what may

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As the plane descends and the lights of Seattle become welcome, familiar reference points, I take a few moments to look back on what can only be called, "the summer of life" because of all the life giving elements contained in it, including:1. A trip to Europe for my wife and I, courtesy of our generous and amazing church, so that we could visit our daughter who serves there, and hike the Alps.  Body - Soul - Spirit - every part of us was enlivened through the hiking, the beauty, the … [Read more...]

Seasons…gratitude and presence, come what may

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As the plane descends and the lights of Seattle become welcome, familiar reference points, I take a few moments to look back on what can only be called, "the summer of life" because of all the life giving elements contained in it, including:1. A trip to Europe for my wife and I, courtesy of our generous and amazing church, so that we could visit our daughter who serves there, and hike the Alps.  Body - Soul - Spirit - every part of us was enlivened through the hiking, the beauty, the … [Read more...]

Smoke…and the aroma of grace

After leaving my wife at the bus station today in Concord, NH, the drive back to the camp where I'm speaking has me thinking about change.  My youngest daughter will soon be arriving home from a summer in Rwanda, changed utterly.  In a few short months both she and my wife will graduate from Seattle Pacific University, and this will mark the end of college careers (at the very least, for the time being) for our whole family.  Change.  The church I lead is moving into a new season in a few short w … [Read more...]

Smoke…and the aroma of grace

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After leaving my wife at the bus station today in Concord, NH, the drive back to the camp where I'm speaking has me thinking about change.  My youngest daughter will soon be arriving home from a summer in Rwanda, changed utterly.  In a few short months both she and my wife will graduate from Seattle Pacific University, and this will mark the end of college careers (at the very least, for the time being) for our whole family.  Change.  The church I lead is moving into a new season in a few short w … [Read more...]

Fasting: The foundation of a life of Feasting

"I like food too much to not fast"David Steindl-Rast, in his "A Listening Heart", writes about what he calls sensuous asceticism.  He's trying to find that space between the over-indulgences of our culture, where food, sex, shopping, social networking, music, movies, television, web surfing, clothing, drugs, and alcohol are just some of the many appetites that, at their worst, rise up and become masters in our lives, and the vilifying of appetites that so often occurs among Christans.  The r … [Read more...]

What are you looking for?

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"where you treasure is, there your heart will be also..." Matthew 6:19Our holiday in Austria this past June, courtesy of the marvelous church I pastor, allowed my wife and I several days to hike in the Alps.  And hike we did: up, up, up, until we were high above any trees, leaving us hiking on something that was, at times, akin to the desolation of the moon.  Up there, "trail" means something entirely different than down lower, where a swath is cut through trees, and a clear path beaten down s … [Read more...]

Disengage from the culture and don’t change the world – change yourself

Casey Anthony.  Who is she?  Why is her case important?  Or, is her case important, or before that Anthony Weiner's case, or before that some other politician or movie star, or both - why is anyone at all paying attention to this string of social pablam?  And we Christians have our own diversions:  "Good bye-Rob Bell"?  "Eugene Peterson is the devil because he wrote the Message".  Are these conversations  more important than our national fiscal crisis, or the torture of citizens in Syria by their … [Read more...]

Enough: the power of rest, rhythm, and “no”

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My recent vacation was a gift in every way.  Seeing our oldest daughter in her world was a gift.  Being in the places I travel for work, without working (and without snow), was a gift.  Receiving the vacation as a gift from the church I lead was deeply encouraging.  Enjoying fellowship with close friends who live in Europe was a gift.  And, significantly, there was the gift of a lesson learned....We live in a world of objectives where success is defined, often, by "how much":  How much work ca … [Read more...]


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